LATAM Smartphone Shipments Grow 13.4% YoY in 2021 Despite Supply Constraints

  • LATAM smartphone shipments grew 13.4% YoY in 2021 and .03% YoY and 9% QoQ in Q4 2021.
  • Samsung led the market with 38% share, followed by Motorola with 22.5% share.

Buenos Aires, New Delhi, Hong Kong, Seoul, London, Beijing, San Diego – February 24, 2022

LATAM smartphone shipments grew a healthy 13.4% YoY in 2021 despite the ongoing component shortages. However, the number was still 9% lower than that for 2019, according to Counterpoint Research’s latest Market Monitor tracker. Most of the 2021 growth was in the first half of the year, as COVID-19 lockdowns had hit growth in the same period of 2020.

Commenting on the market dynamics, Principal Analyst Tina Lu said, “Most LATAM countries saw YoY growth driven by Chinese brands entering the region and increasing competition. But Brazil’s TAM decreased YoY. With local manufacturing/assembly representing more than 80% of its smartphone volume, Brazil felt the full impact of component shortages.”

Commenting on brand trends, Lu said, “All brands grew in volume during 2021, but some grew more than others.  Samsung, the absolute leader in the region, increased only 6% in volume, but its ASP grew more than 19% YoY. The OEM’s shipments increased less than the overall market as it decided to produce higher-ASP devices due to chipset shortages.”

“Furthermore, LG exited the market during the second half of the year, leaving a void in the entry-level segment. Motorola and ZTE spotted the opportunity and moved in. Motorola’s volume increased 39% YoY and ZTE’s 74% YoY. But the brand that grew the most was Xiaomi, which aggressively entered the operator channel. Its volume almost doubled YoY. Xiaomi has been pushing its brand image in LATAM since 2018.”

 

LATAM Smartphone Shipment Market Share, 2021 vs 2020

Source: Counterpoint Research Market Monitor, Q4 2021      Notes: Xiaomi includes POCO

Commenting on the Q4 2021 market dynamics, Research Analyst Andres Silva said: “Despite the annual growth, Q4 2021 shipments increased only .03% YoY but 9% QoQ due to a combination of seasonality and improved supplies from China and Vietnam and local manufacturing/assembly. The fourth quarter is usually the biggest quarter for the LATAM smartphone market. But in 2021 many OEMs could not anticipate production constraints that impacted most of the second part of the year.”

 

LATAM Smartphone Shipment Market Share, Q4 2021 vs Q4 2020

Source: Counterpoint Research Market Monitor, Q4 2021      Notes: Xiaomi includes POCO

 

Q4 2021 Market Summary

Samsung led the region in Q4 2021 with its volume rising 12% QoQ but falling 1% YoY. The brand led in most of the countries in the region, except Argentina and Mexico. Samsung was impacted by supply shortages and not having enough entry-level products.

Motorola was the second biggest brand in the region. It led in Argentina and Mexico. Motorola managed to combine its brand recognition built over 30 years in LATAM and its entry-level models to grow in volume.

Xiaomi continued to grow in the region. It is now the solid number three. In Q4 2021, it saw 71% YoY growth. Its QoQ growth was drastically lower, hampered by supply shortages and not having local production in Argentina and Brazil. Xiaomi has recently announced it will start assembling smartphones in Argentina this year. Its volumes should grow further after local production starts.

Apple suffered huge constraints right after the launch of the iPhone 13. But the shortage appeared to ease by the end of the year with significantly increased shipments. Apple is the absolute leader in the region in the premium segment (>$500).

ZTE grew its volume 44% YoY by expanding sales beyond Mexico. It has a long-term relationship with carriers and offers a portfolio of <$100 smartphones.

Other Chinese brands like OPPO, vivo, realme and TECNO are new entrants to LATAM. They spent most of 2021 building their branding in the region. OPPO was the most successful of all these brands, as it had already built some branding in Mexico several years ago. It is among the top five in Mexico, but Its expansion into other markets has not yet shown results.

“Others” decreased YoY. “Local kings” continue to drop with international and Chinese brands filling the gap.

 

Background

Counterpoint Technology Market Research is a global research firm specializing in products in the TMT (technology, media and telecom) industry. It services major technology and financial firms with a mix of monthly reports, customized projects and detailed analyses of the mobile and technology markets. Its key analysts are seasoned experts in the high-tech industry.

 

Analyst Contacts:

Tina Lu

+54 91160411221
[email protected]

 Andres Silva

+57 3004929435

[email protected]

Peter Richardson

+44 7917231934
[email protected]

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